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CCR Arch Layout


Gilrock
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I'm working on adding CCR leaping arches to my sequences. Just want to make sure there isn't a better way to lay them out in Superstar. I chose 4 CCR's arch shape with half size so SS drew them as 4 arches on top of 4 arches and the green grid was 1 row per arch (25 pixels) which made it 8 high. I found this layout to be really nice for doing morphs that are repeated on each arch section but when I wanted a morph that would travel the length of all 8 arches it seemed like the only way to make it work was to create 8 different morphs that were staggered on the timeline making it look like it was one continuous morph.

Then I experimented with drawing the 8 arches all horizontal in the Visualizer and importing. That gave me one long row for the grid which made it really easy to morph from end to end but not so easy to make a morph that swept across all arches at the same time.

After playing around with both setups I prefer the layout that was drawn by SS because the arches look nicer when it plays. The imported visualization looked more like individual bulbs when it plays back.

So with the layout of 8 rows on the grid is there an easy way to have a morph run the length of all 8 arches? Being able to swap the layout between stacked rows and one long row on the fly would be awesome for creating these different types of morphs.

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Currently you can only have one layout for a sequence. I too would love to be able to swap between layouts at different points in the song, but currently you cannot do that, maybe next year.

If you have the layout with 8 rows on the grid, then to do a continuous morph you have to do 8 morphs laid end to end. Its not as bad as it sounds because you can use copy/paste to lay them end to end. And then once you have 8 of them laid end to end you can select all 8 and copy/paste that where ever else you want to do that.

-Brian Bruderer

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I was able to create the 8 morphs and then copy/paste the whole block but I didn't think there was a way to copy/paste a morph I drew on row 1 and paste it elsewhere on the timeline shifted to row 2.

What would be the best method to create a candy cane effect where there would be alternating red and white sections that look like they are scrolling across the arches?

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You are correct, when you do a paste, the default is to paste onto the same row, or if that row is occupied, it finds an empty row for each effect.

Finding an empty row for each effect is what you want sometimes, but other times you want them to stay together and move them to the desired row. Currently the only way to do that is to hold the "Shift" key down while pressing the paste button with the mouse. It will then keep all the effects on the same row. If that is not where you want them, they will all still be selected so you can click on the "move up" or "move down" buttons to move them to the row you want.

One way to do the candy cane effect is to create 3 scenes of the candy cane in different positions and rotate between the 3 scenes.

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Yeah I wasn't talking about the rows up on the timeline. I meant the rows on the green grid. Say I draw a morph across row 1 which is arch 1 and then I want to copy/paste that same morph onto arch 2 but starting .10 seconds later. The best way I found was to copy paste the morph on the timeline to the new time location and then I had to draw new start and finish sections on the green grid and then hit the modify button. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't a faster method to paste that morph from one arch to another. When I wanted the same morph across all arches starting at the same time that was easy to do by dragging the start and finish lines across the green grid.

Yeah for the candy cane effect I did draw a static scene with the alternating red/white and was trying to find a nice way to animate it across the arches without having to manually draw every scene.

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On my computer I do have the abilty to move the endpoints of a morph in the "group modify" dialog box. It will be in the next release, but don't know when the next release will be.

The other way to do a candy cane effect is to draw an image and add an image action.

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I came close to the candy cane effect I wanted. I drew the image in the screenshot below and created two image actions with that same image. The first image action moves the image from 0,0 to 0,50 and the second action moves it from 0,-25 to 0,25. That allowed the 2nd image action to scroll into the scene as the first one was scrolling out. If you could command an action to wrap this could all be done with one action.

I was able to setup half of the arches yesterday using 2 CCR's so I could test this out. Everything worked first try pretty awesome. When it got to this candy cane effect you could see flashes of orange as the pattern scrolled across. I had similar results when morphing or doing scenes that should have been all white with fades up or down to black. Other colors creep into the display. It seems like it does much better with reds, greens, and blues where there is only one LED on. My sequences currently have commands going out for 4 CCR's and 48 normal LOR channels so I hope it wasn't network bandwidth issues causing the other colors. It was still impressive enough I'm not going to sweat it.

Thanks Brian for all the help and for creating a nice tool.

Gil

Edited by Gilrock
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You found a good way to do the cany cane effect. The image actions don't wrap, but you should be able to do one image action from 0, -25 to 0, 50.

As for the flashes of other colors, that is a common problem. The first thing to do is go into the Sequence Editor, click on Edit/Preferences/Network Preferences and make sure that the speed is set to "short range faster".

Next, as you say, images that use all red, or all green, or all blue will not have the problem. The problem is caused when the commands for one color get there faster than the commands for other colors. So the worst case scenario is white.

Only a few months ago I found out that the Light-O-Rama protocol sends "full on" commands faster than "partial on" commands. The default color mode for SuperStar is "balanced" color mode. In balanced color mode it reduces the max intensity or green and blue in order to get the colors on the CCRs to match the colors on the screen. But that means that if you set white, red is full on, but green and blue are not full on. So the red commands get there faster than the green and blue commands.

So the solution is to click on the Tools menu, select Configuration and set color mode to "full range". In "full range" mode green will now go to 120 and blue will now go to 130. In all of your effects that you are having trouble with white having other colors creep in, set green to 120 and blue to 130, then white will consist of "full on" commands and most of the problem should go away. The only side effect is that white will now be a bluish white, but most people don't notice. Also, if you were doing yellow, you would use red=100 and green=120 and the color flashes will mostly go away, but your yellow will now be a greenish yellow.

Your doing real well if you followed all of that. But the point is, set "short range faster" and use "full range" color mode and max out all your color settings and it will help your color flashes go away.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I was gone hunting for a week and got back to work on this over this past weekend. At the end of the first song there is an ending sound where I have the whole house light up and fade out. My son says dad the timing is off at the end of that song. So I play it again thinking no way. During the song it seemed like everything was turning on in sync with the music but that was individual elements. It was probably happening in other parts of the song but it was real clear at the ending that the house was not lighting up in sync with the music. I double-checked in the Sequencer and the Visualizer and everything was lined up perfect. So I remembered your suggestion to change the preferences to "short range faster" and I had another USBto485 converter I had bought for backup so I split my controllers across 2 networks. First network has 1 LOR controller and 2 ribbons and the second network has 2 LOR controllers and 2 ribbons. The color flashing problems on the ribbons is gone and the ending of that song is now looking correct outside. The mistake I made was making 2 changes at once so now I don't know which one made the most improvement. I would hope that a single network would have handled 3 controllers and 4 ribbons so maybe the network settings did the most help. Guess I can change that back to test it.

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"short range faster" seems to be about twice as fast as the normal setting, and having 2 networks is twice as fast as 1 network. So either one of your changes probably would have fixed it, but now that you have done both you are 4 times faster than before and should definitely have no problems with lag!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, I do not have a video on sequencing arches. It may be of some value to watch the circles video. The thing with arches is that if you use CCR mode you can only do a morph on one CCR at a time. For example, if you have 4 arches in a row then to do a morph that goes across all 4 arches you need to do 4 morphs laid end to end. This is similar to how you have to lay morphs end to end to get a continuous circle on the circles.

The alternative is to make a visualization of your arches and then when you import it, set the "max length" of the sequencing grid to be 200 and you can get up to 4 ccrs in one sequencing row. This makes it easier to do do a morph across all 4 ccrs.

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